Tag Archive: wilson valdez

The King of the Losers

April 3, 2012 Randy Neil

And the winner of this year’s NCAA March Madness Bracket is…..


MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! That’s right, folks. Ya boy took it down. The name of my bracket? A very simple, ‘Randy – The NBA is better.’ I wish I could describe some of my strategy, but to be quite honest, there wasn’t any. I spend the first round picking the higher seeds, then, I just started randomly promoting teams to the next round with no rhyme or reason. Before the tournament, the big buzz was that Kentucky was favored to be the champion, so that’s who I picked. And people say the NBA is predictable.

Please know there is a huge smile on my face because as I read that last paragraph, I could envision the bitter faces of NCAA fans everywhere. Sure, my argument isn’t always correct, but this time it is, and it feels good.

So, without out of the way, let me spend the rest of this post trying to win you over again.

Typically, the Sixers play on Monday nights but on this week, I was served a treat. Last night marked the first game in Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies. Damn, it feels good to say that.

The Phillies look completely different this year. Towards the end of the game, the lineup was full of players I had never seen before. I have noted most of the recent acquisitions, but one player I wasn’t aware we grabbed is Juan Pierre. I’m not sure how I feel about him yet. I didn’t much care for him in Chicago, but with this new-found emphasis on “small-ball”, Pierre could be a big play maker. That little guy Galvis looks pretty good, too. If there’s one thing the Phillies are good at, it’s replacing Utley/Rollins with some no-name shortstop or 2B that can pull his weight. Tadahito Iguchi, Michael Martinez, Pete Orr, Wilson Valdez, and now Galvis. There’s probably some I’m missing, too.

I would like to mention how sad it is that Valdez is no longer on the roster. The man pitched in the 19th inning for us last year! That’s Phillies history.

Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton are supposed to be our power hitters. Writing that makes me hope that the Phillies play small-ball more. Wigginton’s last four years look awful! Wigginton’s body looks awful. Yeesh. Isn’t Matt Stairs still playing somewhere?

Hats off to Jamie Moyer. He officially has the #2 spot in the rotation for the Colorado Rockies. Apparently he beat out some 20-something year old. The Rockies rotation is garbagio anyway. Aaron Cook cook is gone, Ubaldo is gone. Moyer is one of the only seasoned vets there!

Theheadrush had their annual fantasy baseball draft yesterday. I’m usually guilty of drafting one player that is on the DL or stricken with some sort of disease rendering him useless, and this year was no different! I didn’t put my time in for research, and thus drafted Victor Martinez. His career is probably over, so take him off the drafting block Yahoo! Come on, help me out!

This year we have a pretty light roster, and I have to admit I am a huge fan. 6 offensive spots, 4 starting pitchers, 2 relief pitchers. The draft was over in 20 minutes. That’s the way fantasy baseball should be. The deeper the lineup has to be, the more it feels like a job. By September, I almost want to be out of the playoff hunt because I’m tired of swapping pitchers in-and-out. Hopefully there will be some joy in it this time around.

Albeit I’m not a big hockey fan, but I did witness most of Sunday’s epic Flyers/Penguins hate-fest. I’m going to probably express an opinion that most Philadelphia fans won’t approve of. Yes, it was cool to see our coach climbing on top of the railing to yell at the other coach. It was cool to see Hartnell mocking the fans, and the fights, and the passion. I dig all of that. I don’t dig, however, the shove on Sidney Crosby. Don’t care who you are, don’t care what you’re doing, you don’t shove a player down from behind. Class-less. Laviolette is getting upset about the checking line coming out to rough up our players, but hey, that’s what happens when you “sucker-punch” their star player. There’s an unwritten code to fighting in hockey, and a blind shove from behind probably ranks right below a kick to the balls in my eyes.

Last week when I wrote about the Sixers, we were the 4th seed. Now, we’re the 7th. There isn’t much margin for error. The playoffs are quickly approaching and I’m not very excited about tonight’s game against the Heat in Miami. If things stay the way they are, we’ll be facing these guys in the first round of the playoffs. It would be nice to show we can win a game against Miami in the 2012 season.

New York is falling apart with injuries, so the Sixers have been given a little breathing room from being knocked out of the playoffs, but Boston has just won 5 straight. The goal of winning the Atlantic Division seems doubtful, as the Sixers have plateaued. For a season that started with so much promise…..

Just recently, Red Frog Events announced a new music festival featuring some huge headliners like The Black Keys, The Killers, Lupe Fiasco, Jack White, John Legend, The Flaming Lips, and more. That’s not that epic, EXCEPT THAT IT’S IN DELAWARE!! When, ever, has a concert of this magnitude come to Delaware? Did the promoters happen to omit the details to the performers? Are they aware it’s going to be in Delaware?

It’s awesome to see something this size put us on the map. The hope is that if all goes well, it will be an annual event. I’m getting my tickets when they go on sale April 5th.


Alrighty kids, keep your heads up and GO SIXERS!!

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Like That Bron-Bron? Had That Long Time Ago.

May 25, 2011 Randy Neil

Good lord. Lebron James and the Miami Heat are definitely going to win a championship now. Whatever life the Bulls were trying to salvage was crushed last night.

Derrick Rose attempted to ‘be more aggressive’ in the game, and it worked, for a bit. The first half, Rose was dunking on fools, dropping sweet jumpers, and dishing out great assists. The second half, Lebron James basically shut down everything Rose was trying to do, and Chicago didn’t have ‘a big 2’ to fall back on.

James is a scary man (aside from that very feminine embrace he had with Wade.) You could see the confidence breaking in the Bulls, and Lebron made sure to jabber in the ear of every Chicago player in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. It was degrading. James can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, including that block on Rose that acted as an exclamation point for his defense. You can’t talk shit back when you’re getting beat up. Rose was getting beat up.

Just be thankful I didn’t write a rebuttle post to my own post and go back on my Heat prediction. It was insane listening to these analysts praise the Chicago defense after game 1, writing off the Heat as if they weren’t capable of adjusting match-ups. Charles Barkely practically gave Chicago the series after game 1, and now that game looks like eons ago. Stick to your guns.

It also appears that my OKC prediction is officially doomed. By the hands of it’s own players. The power struggle that was brewing between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has exploded, and most of us didn’t even know it was there in the first place.

I keep remembering a discussion from PTI from about a year ago. Kornheiser brought up Durant’s emergence in a small-market team and the likelihood that he would stay in Oklahoma. Him and Wilbon were wondering if the NBA’s leading scorer would remain with the franchise, and that’s when Westbrook’s name was brought up. Durant already publicly announced his desire to stay in Oklahoma, but nobody was sure about Westbrook.

I’m not sure if the media is blowing up this story or if this is an underlying problem that has been brought to the forefront because of the playoffs, but it’s here. And it’s a big one.

My prediction – Dallas runs over the deflated Thunder, Miami runs over the deflated Bulls, Miami wins the Finals in 5 games. Just like 06′, Dirk ain’t gettin’ his ring at the hands of the Heat.

So with basketball practically written off, summer can officially start and baseball season can finally be the full-focus sport for me. This coincides perfectly with Utley’s return off the DL, and I’m going to say something that might possibly get me thrown out of a very high building but…

I would rather (GASP) have Wilson Valdez (WHAT) at 2nd base, than Chase Utley (GOSH) on defense (oh.)

It sounds kinda crazy right? Hear me out.

Wilson Valdez is an insanely better defensive second basemen than Chase Utley. Last year, they played about an equal amount of games, Utley (114) to Valdez’s (105.) Utley had committed 11 errors to Valdez’s 3. I need to remind our readers that this doesn’t include the 2010 post-season. This doesn’t include Utley’s miserable error from Sanchez (THEIR PITCHER) in the 2011 National League Championship. I’m still convinced he single-handedly ruined that series with not only his horrific fielding (3 errors,) but his ‘flipping’ of the ball after being hit by a pitch that almost started a brawl that ended Sanchez’s night (right before he was about to get lit up with 2 on and 0 outs.)

Valdez also boasts a better fielding percentage. In Valdez’s fielding chances (which are less, mind you, because he also played SS and 3B for a part of last year) he turned more double plays and had more assists than Utley throughout the year as well. Thank you baseball-reference.com.

Hitting on the other hand….. Valdez is batting a dismal .234 with 9 RBIs and 0 HRs this season. Utley would destroy those numbers in the first two months of the season.

Just to put things in perspective though, I learned an interesting fact a few days ago from my colleague Mr. Thomas. Chase Utley has spent pretty much all of spring training and the first two months of the season on the DL with a knee injury. Andre Iguodala, Philly’s least favorite athlete, played the remaining month of the season and all of the playoffs with the very same injury.

Utley, beloved. Iguodala, hated. Obviously, both sports are incredibly strenuous on a knee, but Utley gets a pass for his recovery time, and Iggy is scorned for his role on the Sixers. Just keep that in mind.

I’m not starting a hate-wagon, just trying to bring some people’s love-fest back to Earth. I would always put in Utley over Valdez, but I wish he was our DH and Valdez was our 2B. Call me crazy.

Go forth and enjoy your day! Tonight, the Phillies try to win the series against the Reds with Halladay on the mound. First pitch is at 7 P.M.


The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day Lineup

April 1, 2011 Randy Neil

Yea, yea, Opening Day was yesterday. But we’re in Philadelphia. Opening Day starts today. First pitch starts (hopefully) at 1PM ET at Citizens Bank Park. I’ve seen flurries and rain all morning, but talk is that the game will be played as scheduled. Yippie.

The Lineup

1. Shane Victorino CF
2. Placido Polanco 3B
3. Jimmy Rollins SS
4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Rauuuuul Ibanez LF
6. Ben Francisco RF
7. Carlos Ruiz C
8. Wilson Valdez
9. Roy Halladay


(God that’s an awful Photoshop job I know. Wasn’t me!)